By Shawn McKee
If you’re like me, then a hectic lifestyle has led to fatty fast-food lunches, less time for exercise and the inevitable widening of the waistline that follows. While the transition from a 6-pack — in the right light — to a soft doughy center has happened slowly, there is a quick way to reverse the trend.
Fitness pro Raphael Calzadilla built a core-strengthening, ab-flattening workout program that anyone can do anywhere — in just 30 minutes per day! All you will need is a stop watch or timer.
It’s a simple plan that can create dramatic results in just four weeks, but you have to dedicate yourself to the program. Whether you want to flatten your pooch for the beach, slim down for a wedding or just see significant improvement fast, this is your plan.
Instructions: Move from one exercise to the next without stopping. For example, once you complete the last rep of pushups, go directly to the squats, etc. (Click on the exercise names for demonstrations.)
Week 1: The Core Workout
1. Pushups – The goal is 10 reps but if you’re not able to perform 10, do as many as possible. You can substitute bent-knee pushups until you can complete regular pushups.
2. Squat with body weight – 20 reps
3. Lunges – 10 reps each leg
4. Bicycle Maneuver – timed for 30 seconds. If your legs fall to the floor in less than 30 seconds, take a deep breath, pick them back up and start again.
5. Reverse Ab Curl – timed for 30 seconds. If your legs fall to the floor, take a deep breath, pick them back up and start again.
6. Double crunch – timed for 30 seconds. If your legs fall to the floor, take a deep breath, pick them back up and start again.
7. Plank – hold for 45 seconds (or as close as you can get).
Rest 1 minute and repeat. Keep repeating the circuit in this manner until you reach 30 minutes. Then stretch for 5 minutes.
Weeks 2-4: Each week, add 2 more reps to the pushups, squats and lunges. And each week, add 5 seconds to the bicycle maneuver, reverse ab curl, double crunch and plank.
Cardio Plan: 3 non-consecutive days per week of cardio for 30 minutes a session.
2 days of steady state cardio and 1 high intensity interval training (HIIT) session. The cardio mode of exercise can vary. (For example, jogging on Tuesday, biking on Thursday and sprints (Interval training) on Saturday.)
Here’s how to do HIIT:
-5 min warm up
-15 seconds of high intensity exercise, followed by 45 seconds moderate intensity (not low). Keep repeating for 20 total cycles and then cool down for 5 minutes (for a total of 30 minutes). Stretch before and after the cardio sessions.
“A combination of steady state cardio and high intensity interval training will produce outstanding results and alleviate the boredom factor,” says Raphael. However, he warns that even a workout like this won’t work if your diet is not order.
“No matter how much you exercise, abs will only become flatter and tighter if your nutrition program is in a slight calorie deficit,” says Raphael. “Consume nutrient dense foods and eat approximately 5-6 times per day (3 meals and 2-3 snacks spread every 2-3 hours) in order to keep blood sugar levels stable. With a slight calorie deficit and stable blood sugar levels, body fat will decrease – and that is a huge component to getting flatter abs.”
Now start the plan today and go from flabby to flat in just a few weeks!